My friend and I visited this place last weekend. A half an hour away, fields of dahlias, row after row, like a huge striped painting made of flowers. Eye popping beauty on a gorgeous early fall day. It's been warm again, as it often is in the northwest at this time of the year. And with the warmth comes late summer flowers like these, big and small, variegated and solid, simple and frilly. The variety and bawdiness of it all literally took our breath away. It was a wonderful small adventure.
I've been wrestling with the realities of my life with diabetes, wrestling with it for most of the time I've had it. Trading off between what I'd like to do and what happens when I actually do it. I've landed on both sides of the equation, sometimes not caring about the ramifications of that cupcake or extra long walk, and then other times opting to not indulge because the costs are just too great. This ongoing debate is just a part of my life with diabetes.
One of the biggest struggles I've had in the realm of these trade offs has been around travel. It always takes a toll, no matter how careful I am. Always. But I do it nonetheless, usually because I have to for my work. It's do-able of course, and I have a good time in spite of the inevitable blood sugar ride that ensues. But when I do have a choice, I find that I am choosing not to travel when I can. I'm sick of the work it requires and the physical challenges it always poses, the extra highs and lows all take some of the bloom off the travel rose. I've struggled with the desire to see the world more and the particular cost diabetes adds to the process of actually doing so. I've worried that I'm "wimping out", that I'm letting diabetes limit me, that I'm missing out on a full life. And yet, more and more I find that I just want to minimize the discomforts of diabetes as much as I possibly can. I'm tired of the roller coaster, pure and simple. And though I still have it in my day to day life, I have it less so when I stay closer to home. That's just a fact. As much as I'd like it to be different, that's the way it is.
Recently, something occurred to me that's turned out to be very helpful. I realized that travel is just one way to have a full, intriguing, magical, rich life. Plenty of the greatest thinkers and artists that I admire, didn't have to go far afield to experience a meaningful, adventurous life. Close can bring expansion. Near can bring adventure. Small can bring liberation. And in my case, safe can bring joy and energy, balance and happiness.
Yes, my friends and culture think travel is the end all and be all. The magazines I read celebrate all the exotic corners of the world. The question everyone asks after a week off is "where did you go"? Yes, my friends dream and plan and visit places far and wide. But, it's all relative. It's very personal. And at the end of the day, it's up to me to decide what works best for me with diabetes!
So I'm trying to feel better about all this. I'm trying to look at the rich world just outside my door. Last week I went here and here and here. And later this week, I'm going here and here. Lot's of small adventures, close to home, but as so full of the opportunity to "travel" far and wide.